Canadian Manufacturing

Trudeau links regional unemployment increases to TFW program

Liberal leader accused Conservatives of contributing to joblessness in hard-hit regions of Canada

May 6, 2014  by Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—The federal government’s embattled Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is the subject of hot debate in the House of Commons as Liberal leader Justin Trudeau accuses the Tories of contributing to joblessness in hard-hit regions of the country.

Trudeau is citing statistics that he says show that the unemployment rate in some cities in southwestern Ontario, including London and Windsor, has increased as temporary foreign workers have been hired.

The NDP’s Jinny Sims, the party’s immigration critic, is also weighing in, accusing the government of badly mishandling the program.

Various Tory MPs are standing to defend the government’s handling of the program and employers who access the program in sectors and regions in which there are legitimate labour shortages.


Chris Warkentin, the Conservative member for Peace River, which includes Grande Prairie, Alta., in the province’s northwest, is accusing Trudeau of demonizing employers.

He says those employers have worked diligently to try to hire Canadians but have been unable to find domestic employees.

He pointed to McDonald’s restaurants in Grand Prairie, saying the fast-food giant has dozens of job vacancies and is offering more than the prevailing market wage but can’t fill the positions.